As I mentioned last month, during the April Board of Directors meeting in Salmon, the board set several key objectives for IOGA this year including Membership & Fundraising, Access and Trails, Improved Relations with Agency Partners and the 60th Anniversary of IOGA.The second objective I want to write about is membership and fundraising.

Membership and fundraising continue to be our main objectives for the organization.  We recruited a lot of new members and had a number of old friends rejoin the organization over the past year.  With all the turnover in the business, we need to continue to recruit the new outfitters.  Personal connections are the best way to share the value of being a member of IOGA.  Please reach out to the non-members you know.  There is a lot going on at the Statehouse and with our agency partners.  We need a strong and vibrant organization as much now as ever.  Our new Executive Director, John May, is up to speed and has lots of ideas on marketing and fundraising.  Be sure and follow the FYI Bulletins for more information.

Rivers VP Message by Ari Kotler

Spring is here in Idaho and we are blessed to have a great snowpack for our river season.  From the handful of outfitters I have spoken to, it seems that booking numbers are up from the recent past.

We are officially launching our “RAFT IDAHO” brand this season.  Rizen Creative has been collecting and compiling video clips from various members.  The one minute promotional video for marketing is nearing completion.  Our Executive Director, John May, has developed stickers for RAFT IDAHO with the new logo.  If you would like some to hand out, contact the IOGA office.  Please check out the RAFT IDAHO website.  This is a work in progress and feedback is welcomed.

4th Annual Salmon River Fest May 30 & 31 – Come elebrate community, the Salmon River and help raise funds for a whitewater park in Salmon.  Click here for more information.

Redside Foundation Update – Redside helped sponsor the Second Annual River Rendezvous in Riggins May 9-11.  The event had over 100 participants who converged for a weekend of fun, camaraderie, networking and education.  Presentations included discussion panels on “Life in Idaho After Guiding” and “Idaho River Conservation”.  There was also a keynote given by Kevin Fedarko, author of “The Emerald Mile”.  Plan now to attend this event next year.  The location will rotate so visit the website for details.  Thanks again to all of the outfitters who donated to the event – we couldn’t have done it without your support!

Training, skills and recertification – If you would like to enchance your guiding skills and need a little extra help to do so, please apply for a Redside Foundation Professional Development Grant for up to $100 towards a professional training course of your choice.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable season.  It was a long winter!

If there are topics you would like updates on in the future, please let me know.

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”  Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Executive Director’s Message by John May

IOGA Members,

Let me start off this update by saying that May 6-8 had us in Sun Valley for the Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism. Besides attending the conference this was our opportunity to present our request for tourism grant dollars to the Idaho Travel Council. This year there were more than 25 organizations like ours who presented to the ITC hoping to get a piece of this year’s grant monies. As many of you know it is with these dollars that the IOGA is able to further promote our industry. Our presentation was centered on basically two things, first more direct advertising of the outfitter activities that you all are involved in and second on creating partnerships.  There are many groups out there who are working hard to promote our industry. We should be working directly with those groups whenever possible to help stretch  advertising dollars. I believe that our presentation went well and I hope to see that reflected in this year’s grant award.

We are just about to roll out a new Guide Membership program. We will now have two categories of guide membership – voting and non-voting.  This new program will allow our Outfitters the ability to sign up their guides as a non-voting member for a fraction of the previous cost. Guides are key to the success of all our businesses.  Our board feels strongly that we should be recognizing them for what they do and make them a more active part of our association. Specific guide information and member benefits are being put together as we speak. So keep an eye out, as this will be rolled out shortly. Hopefully all of you will see the benefit of getting your guides involved and will support this program.

Thanks and have a great month.

John May

Primary Election Shapes Future of Idaho Legislature

The Idaho House Resources and Conservation and Senate Resources and Environment Committees will have new chairmen for the 2015 Legislative session as a result of the recent Idaho May primary election. Senate Resources Chair Monty Pearce was defeated by a moderate Republican in a western Idaho race. Lawerence Denney, chair of the House Resources and Conservation Committee, won the Republican primary race for Secretary of State. Therefore, there will be a new chair of that committee. The make-up of these two committees is key for resource issues and for IOGA.  For an overview of other contested races in the recent primary, click here.

18 Summers Campaign

With summer nearly here and as the State’s 18Summers campaign is in full swing, we wanted to share the campaign link with the IOGA members.  Check out the website to see the information, video and promotional content.  If anyone needs any custom-sized graphics or more information please contact Josh Mercaldo at Drake Cooper, 208-472-5660.

Classified Ads

Lead Guide Needed  Salmon River SA4A and SA5 for rafting and perhaps fishibg.  Contact Sharon Osgood at 208.756.4386

Wilderness River Outfitters is sponsoring a Wilderness First Responder refresher class in Salmon June 2nd & 3rd.  Click here for the registration form.

Horse Packer (Stanley, Idaho) Mystic Saddle Ranch needs a lead wilderness pack trip guide.  June 12-September 1.  Must be able to organize and lead horseback trips in Sawtooth Wilderness, 1 day to 10 days.  May also do short trial rides and other related work.  Must have excellent customer service and horse packing experience.  Must be able to be licensed.  Contact Jeff Bitton, Mystic Saddle Ranch, 208-774-3591.

Horse Trail Ride Guides (Stanley, Idaho)  Applicants must be a US resident, able to lift 80 lbs or more, pass a drug test, have a driver’s license, have some horseback experience, team player and great customer service.  June 12-Labor Day.  Contact Jeff Bitton, Mystic Saddle Ranch, 208-774-3591.

For Sale 2-Ton Stock Truck.1993 Ford F700. Excellent for back country roads. Great condition. $8,000 OBO. If interested please call Jeff Bitton at 208-774-3591

If you are in need of well trained individuals i.e. Packers, Guides, Wranglers or Camp Cooks, we have students ready to go to work. Contact Elm Outfitters and Guides Training Program 406.961.3603

Outfitting Business for Sale.  Whiskey Mountain Outfitters, an established hunt outfitting and guide businiess is for sale.  Big Game Hunting in Unit 40 and Bear Hunts in Unit 14 on private ground.  Contact Wayne Hungate for more information.  208.880.2335

Hunting Guides Needed  Depending on experience, position could include September through February and April through June.  Also need a couple experienced guides for 1 to 6 weeks during late September and October.  Looking for a long term commitment, archery elk hunting experience is important.  We operate in SE Idaho, Central Montana, Northern Utah and NE Washington.  Visit our website.  Contact Dale Denney or call 509-684-6294.

For Sale:  24 foot airboat. 10 1/2 foot beam wide, has a GM 8 1 engine.  It is Coast Guard Certified to carry 17 passengers.  It does not have to remain certififed.  Call Mark Yates, Hells Canyon Adventures, at 800.422.3568 or 541.785.3352 for more information and price.

For Sale or Lease: We are the 100 Acre Wood Lodge in North Fork, Idaho, located on the Idaho/Montana border& only 3 miles from the Salmon River. We are pursuing a “lifestyle” change & wanted some of our contacts to know we are for sale…(or lease). We are a turnkey operation with plenty of room to expand. We also have a lake, acreage and an Outfitters License. Check out our web site, the virtual tour and details of the business and property. Jon & Nancy Cummings, 208-865-2165.

Satellite Phone Rentals  Satmodo rents sat phones starting at $29.99/week.  Available 24/7. Same day delivery available.  Reach us at (800) 279-2366 or via our website.

SITKA GEAR announces the Sitka Guide and Outfitter Program, open to any registered Idaho guide or outfitter looking for top-quality hunting gear. Please contact Jeff Sposito for more information.

ZEISS Sports Optics announces the ZEISS Guide and Outfitter Program, open to any registered Idaho guide or outfitter looking for top-quality German optics. Please contact Barton Dobbs at 303.903.4455 or via e-mail for more information.